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Good Friday at the Museum of the Bible

Jesus Christ on the cross

On Friday, Christians across the world commemorate the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The holiday is known as "Good Friday" because Jesus's death paid the penalty for sins — and paved the way for His Resurrection, His victory over death. The Museum of the Bible did not open any exhibitions about the historicity of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, but it did present an artistic rendering of the "Stations of the Cross."

Christians across the world — and Roman Catholics in particular — remember the events of Good Friday broken into 14 separate episodes, known as the "Stations of the Cross." The vast majority of these stations come from the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

According to the Bible and church tradition, Jesus was condemned to death (1), carried His cross (2), fell to the ground on the way (3, 7, 9), meets his mother (4), received help from Simon of Cyrene (5), had his bloody and sweaty face wiped by Veronica (6), met the women of Jerusalem (8), was stripped naked (10), was nailed to the cross (11), and died on the cross (12). The final two stages involve His body being taken down from the cross (13), and His being laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (14).

"I think on some level every sculptor has a dream of doing the Stations of the Cross," Gib Singleton, the sculptor behind the Bible Museum's exhibit, said. "It's probably the most spiritual subject any artist can deal with. Everything important in the human story is right there — life, death, courage, compassion, love, betrayal, redemption."

While Singleton took some license with his sculptures, each artwork arguably captured the spirit of the corresponding Station of the Cross. Below are PJ Media's picks of the ten most arresting sculptures in the exhibit.

1. Behold your king.

Sculpture of Jesus Christ carrying the cross Sculpture by Gib Singleton, Museum of the Bible [Photo Credit: Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media]

In this sculpture, corresponding to the second station, Jesus carries His cross. His emaciated face and body speak of the pain and exhaustion He had gone through.

Jesus was scourged by Roman soldiers before being forced to carry His cross to Golgotha, a humiliating walk of shame figuring prominently in the torturous practice of a Roman crucifixion. Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" displayed just how painful this scourging would have been, and why carrying the cross afterword would have been a horrendous ordeal. Jesus would have been physically exhausted and in tremendous pain.

2. Wine-soaked robe.

Jesus falls carrying the cross, and is beaten by a Roman soldier Sculpture by Gib Singleton, Museum of the Bible [Photo Credit: Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media]